Approaching Final Draft--please critique

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Approaching Final Draft--please critique

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:19 pm

Dr. Gammeltof, that’s a name one really can’t forget, right? This was the name of the doctor who diagnosed me with Tourette’s Syndrome. My parents had finally gathered enough courage to take me to a neurologist, and I had finally gathered enough to courage to allow it, sans a nasty episode of kicking and screaming. I was young, 10 years old to be exact. But, I trusted them—it was with the kind of trust everyone gives to those who always say, “I know what’s best for you.”

We arrived at the doctor’s office, checked in, and casually took our seats. There wasn’t really too many things that could go wrong. Sure the doctor may want to run some tests, prescribe some medicine, or poke me in typical doctor fashion, but nothing I hadn’t already prepared myself for in the car ride. “Mr. Seay,” called the nurse. Eventually, the doctor came in and began talking with my parents and I. I could tell from the tone of the conversation that there was something I didn’t know. And, there it was. “Do you have the video I had suggested?” asked the doctor. My natural response was, “What video?”

My parents had taken advice to record on video my tics while I was watching TV, playing video games, or reading. However, they had somehow pulled this off without my knowledge. I am not an angry person, but to this day that still irritates me. I had been de-humanized, video-taped like a caged animal. Perhaps more infuriating, I had been betrayed by the one’s who always said they knew best. It was this moment I realized, before I had even been officially diagnosed, my battle with Tourette’s would not be waged with the syndrome itself, but with people and circumstances provoked by it.

Tension between my parents and I lasted until I left for college. With very different theories on how to best approach Tourette’s, we were natural antagonists. My parents thought it was best to eventually take medicine, whereas I wanted to defeat it organically. My parents didn’t want me to refer to it as Tourette’s, whereas I wanted to be forthcoming about my condition. They saw it as weakness, I saw it as a strength. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion it was a part of me, not them, and it was my condition to triumph over. “Why should I try to hide something about myself,” I thought. Tourette’s has been a lesson in integrity, continuously teaching me the value of honesty and authenticity.

I’ve always looked at Tourette’s as something I can take ownership of, rather than letting it own me. For all statistical purposes, I suppose I am an outlier. The doctor predicted academic mediocrity stemming from a history of stereotypes about children with Tourette’s. Of course, that haunted me throughout much of my childhood. I often would attribute one spontaneous instance of poor academic performance to Tourette’s. Once again, it wasn’t the Tourette’s giving me trouble, but rather those individuals telling me it should.

I think my Dad’s biggest concern when he first found out I had Tourette’s was that I would struggle to maintain friendships. Being an avid socialite, I don’t see how he rationalized this. Nonetheless, he did, and it eventually took a toll on our relationship. Nearly everyday of what I call my “post-diagnosis childhood,” he would fish for answers about my relationships at school and soccer practice. Even in my adult life, he’ll subtly hint at Tourette’s as a possible cause for not currently having a girlfriend. For a time period, everything in my life was rationalized and blamed on Tourette’s Syndrome. Yet, Tourette’s deserved none of the blame, and it would frustrate me to no end. The root of it all came from individuals suffocating me with stereotypes and wrongful assumptions of how a child with Tourette’s should be.

I’ve seen my fair share of glares in public, dealt with my fair share of curious children, and even argued with someone about whether or not I should have the right to drive without additional testing. I imagine these glares, these conversations, and these arguments share something in common with the gay couple holding hands walking city streets, the immigrant fighting for citizenship, or a woman arguing for equal opportunity employment. Analogous to my disappointment in those who were supposed to know best, these individuals have been let down by a society who thinks it knows best. So even my worldview, I attribute to Tourette’s for I am an open-minded individual with fundamental beliefs in progress, change, and equality.

My past four years at Belmont University have served as the natural end to my battle with Tourette’s. College defies nearly every trait once ascribed to me by doctors, teachers, parents, and the like, proclaiming victory over those who doubted me. It has simultaneously been the most difficult, yet most formative experience of my life. For now, I look to the future, using my experiences with Tourette’s Syndrome as the stepping stone for a successful career.


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Re: Approaching Final Draft--please critique

Postby efeinste » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:53 pm

There wasn’t really too many things that could go wrong. weren't

Eventually, the doctor came in and began talking with my parents and I. me

I had been betrayed by the one’s who always said they knew best. ones

Tension between my parents and I lasted until I left for college. me

I is a subject. Me is an object. People who use I as an object have no idea what they're doing. Don't listen to them. Don't let their shitty grammar infect you. This is as basic as it gets.

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Re: Approaching Final Draft--please critique

Postby Marshmallow » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:05 pm

While I do think you have a powerful message here, it seems to be a little bogged down by lingering anger/resentment. I'm not saying you're not entitled to those feelings, but instead that you might want to focus more on the positives for the purpose of your PS.

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